A Smith Center, Kansas, insurance agent has been convicted of insurance fraud and related charges, and ordered to serve 36 months of probation, the Kansas Attorney General’s office reported.
Trisha A. Wiehl, 40, was found guilty in Smith County District Court of one count of insurance fraud, four counts of theft, 35 counts of making false information, eight counts of insurance agent or broker failing to pay premium to company, six counts of forgery, and three counts of false impersonation.
The AG’s office said the case stemmed from an investigation by the Kansas Insurance Department and the attorney general’s Fraud and Abuse Litigation Division, which discovered that between May 2016 and August 2018, Wiehl committed numerous crimes related to her work as an insurance agent, including:
- Filing fraudulent and false insurance claims against her customers’ insurance policies and keeping the insurance payment for herself. The total amount of insurance payments Wiehl received through these claims was over $100,000.
- Receiving payment of insurance premiums from customers, including the Smith County Fair Board, keeping the money for herself, and never obtaining an insurance policy for the customers.
- Receiving payment of insurance premiums from customers, including the city of Smith Center and a local business, and keeping this money for herself rather than submitting the payments to the insurance companies.
- Forging signatures, including the signature of the Smith Center City Clerk, to take out loans in the names of her customers and using those loan proceeds to pay their insurance premiums.
In addition to probation, Chief Judge Preston Pratt ordered Wiehl to pay a $3,000 fine.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Paul Brothers of Schmidt’s office.
Source: Kansas Attorney General’s Office
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